Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley – 9 April to 11 Jun 2016

Come and see one of the greatest-ever photographic records of human survival on display in a remarkable new exhibition on tour from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Honouring the achievements of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the men of the Endurance Expedition of 1914-1917, newly digitised images will reveal previously unseen details of the crew’s epic struggle for survival both before and after their ship was destroyed.

At the heart of the exhibition are more than ninety high resolution images, taken by Shackleton’s official expedition photographer Frank Hurley, and saved by him under the most extreme circumstances to provide a lasting record of the men of the Endurance and their story.

For the first time, the fragile glass plate and celluloid negatives, stored securely at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) for more than 80 years, have been digitised directly from the originals. Now viewed at full definition, the images unlock the remarkable detail captured originally by Hurley in his photographic processing, including interior images of the Endurance and high resolution information of life on the pack ice of the Weddell Sea.

As one of the first truly modern documentary photographers and film-makers, Australian born Hurley hoped to have his images seen at as large a scale size as possible. 100 years later, this intention will be honoured with giant dimension prints, some over 2 metres in width and height, at the heart of the exhibition, providing viewers with a sense of awe and wonder.

In addition to the newly digitised images, the exhibition will include a number of ‘precious survivors’ – personal artefacts that were carried through every stage of the successive journeys for survival from the Weddell Sea to Elephant Island and onto South Georgia. These include the Bible from the Society’s collections, originally presented to Shackleton by Queen Alexandra on visiting the Endurance on 16 July 1914 and inscribed by her.

The Enduring Eye exhibition has been researched, written and curated by Meredith Hooper, the Antarctic historian, writer and broadcaster, from original source material in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, whilst also drawing also on information provided by descendants of some of the 28 men on the expedition. It will open at Manchester Central Library on Saturday 9 April 2016 and run until Saturday 11 June 2016.

A book which accompanies the exhibition is available from enquiries@rgs.org 

We are offering 4 free sessions to schools which will include meeting a historical interpreter and an activity around the exhibition.

Thursday 4th May 10-12pm or 12.30-2.30pm

Thursday 19th May 10-12pm or 12.30-2.30pm

To book a session for schools contact Angela Rawcliffe a.rawcliffe1@manchester.gov.uk